GuySuCo CEO is sailing on the job

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Dear Editor

It is now a foregone conclusion that the current CEO of GUYSUCO is above his league or in common parlance he is ‘sailing’ and the state of the entity will get worse rather than better.

Is it by default or design that Mr Singh is still there? Numerous letter writers have succinctly expressed this position but a letter by Samuel Gittens published the Kaieteur News dated November 17th 2021 specifically highlighted this. He summed up the CEO’s ineptitude quite nicely and raised some serious questions about the future trajectory of the ailing entity, “The capital money invested in GuySuCo has been squandered by inept, authoritarian management. Does the CEO have the skills and knowledge of sugar production to transform the company? It is clear that management is totally incapable of doing anything good for Guysuco? After more than a year in the position, GuySuCo has not been transformed. This raises the question of whether government is serious about rescuing GuySuCo. Is it that the CEO is retained to guarantee the failure of the company?”

Earlier this month, the Vice President Dr Jagdeo committed to ‘strengthen management’ and safeguard his Government’s investments in Guysuco but made no clear commitment to replace the CEO. It is equally unclear how the investment will be safeguarded when the CEO has continued to display gross incompetence in managing the entity. His dictatorial attitude and arrogance is unparalleled and can be traced back to the Colonial times or Massa days and he has made full use of these characteristics to get rid of top managers with years of experience and to replace them with his AFC friends. Recently he employed one of his friends in a senior position who was dismissed thrice for stealing. He wants a new Guysuco where he as the one-eyed man will be king. This will be his crowning moment of glory. But what will his kingdom be when Guysuco is dead? What explanation will the electorate be given in 2025? Guysuco must not be allowed to fail or else this will be most devastating single blow to the re-election of this Government. This CEO’s action must be investigated it is a puzzle why the Guysuco Board led by an experienced sugar professional like Mr Viera will allow this CEO to run amok destroying the industry from within. I am calling on the Board to launch an investigation immediately on the many issues which have been ventilated in the media. All these cannot be incorrect.

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This is not about the flood or about the pandemic, this is about a man who is clueless as to what needs to be done. He has failed miserably to give direction not only to the operating estates but the closed ones as well. Which CEO will transfer senior staff willy-nilly to other estates in the midst of a grinding period? Why force experienced staff to resign or face dismissal? Why is his friend, who is in Finance, is allowed to be off the job for 2 months but yet working online from the USA? Could the CEO, if he was experienced have averted the heavy cane losses sustained during the flood? What is the status of Rose Hall Estate, Enmore and Skeldon? Seems like a COI is needed for the re-opening of the closed estates. Cutting ‘jamoon’ wood to feed boilers and proposing chain saws to cut canes defy one’s wildest imagination, but these are some of his plans to take the Industry forward.

Mr Kissoon, in his article captioned, ‘Management of Guysuco under focus’ made a valid recommendation which the Government should take immediately. He stated that, ‘his experience and qualification have never been in sugar and was not in sugar prior to his appointment…the sugar industry is too complicated not to have a person with in depth experience and relevant qualifications…and his reassignment to another area suitable to his training is necessary.’

Dr Tara Singh, in a letter, made a compelling statement in his conclusion which must be looked at in the context of the CEO’s inability to manage the Industry. “The Government projects that within the next four years, the sugar industry will bounce back to economic viability. Thus, the challenge ahead of Guysuco is formidable.” With the current CEO the task is not ‘formidable’ but impossible.

Yours sincerely,
A. Majeed



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